Tag Archives: table tennis

January 24th 1974

“Played T.Tennis in aft”

There’s another reference to some kind of ‘sporty exercise’.

I almost had to sit down when I read it.


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May 1st 1973

“Gym – M + Dick bt Nob + Clodge. Play’d football in evng with Nig & Mal”

As someone who has just joined a proper gym – for the first time ever – at the ripe old age of 51, I feel somewhat amazed that I appeared to have expelled so much energy 36 years earlier.

No idea what sport Dick & I beat Nob & Clodge (Clodge?, what kind of name is “Clodge”?) at… table tennis maybe?

If that wasn’t enough exercise for the day, I then played football in the evening.

Blimey, this post makes me feel worn out just reading it.

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March 29th 1973

“Sold other ticket to Rick E” / “During games i+Trev bt Nig + Pete 21-12, 14-21, 21-19 at table tennis”

I hope Nig & Pete bowed before us mumbling “we are not worthy, we are not worthy”

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March 8th 1973

“In table tennis bt Rick 21-16 and only just lost to Pete 23-21” / “Got new glasses – real posy” / “had haircut (which one?)”

A winning game in table tennis!

I’ll warrant that what I considered “real posy” in glasses design in 1973 would now have people rolling on the floor in abject hysterics in 2009.

You have to remember that ‘designer’ frames did not really exist – at least for us suburban children – in 1973, so all spectacles were based on one of just three or four basics.

I doubt I had progressed to John Lennon ‘chic’ just yet and was probably saddled with something similar to that shown. I refer to it as my “Eric Morecambe” period.

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February 22nd 1973

“Lost to Sned at table tennis 21-9, 21-10, 21-13” / “Dun me leg in again” / “Got report – good!!! (Phew)!” / “Got 10p for working 5 mins over Sperrins” / “Bort hi-fi mag!”

I am getting better at table tennis aren’t I? You can visibly see the improvement in my losing streak today!

What exactly did I do to my leg? Again?

I would guess that the appearance of a ‘school report’ sends fear into the heart of most any schoolkid, this one included. I was going to post an example of my own report, but it would appear that my dad is still holding onto them 4000 miles away. It looks, however, as if I squeaked past this particular one, evidenced by the “phew!

I wonder what I did for 5 minutes over at Sperrins (actually Sperrings) – the local 7-11 convenience store – for that massive 10p pay?

The purchase of that hi-fi mag – doubtless helped by the earned 10p – was what could have sent me into a few years of strange fascination for all things ‘hi-fi’, the result of which will doubtless be discussed further in future diary entries.

In the meantime, shown on the right is a Garrard SP25 record deck, doubtless already on my 15-year-old list of “holy grails”

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February 15th 1973

“Lost to Sned at table tennis 21-9, 21-9, 21-9” / “Opticians Appointment 3pm, Dental Appointment” / “Got ‘ome early” / “GF3”

They say that the key to success in sport is “consistency”.

As you can see, I was terribly consistent in my ping-pong play against Sned, perfectly losing by the same score three times in a row.

I would like to point out that that image of the table tennis bat on the right is in NO WAY representative of the bats we used to play with at school. Ours were somewhat more… how should I put this?…. bloody worn out! Indeed, if the bat you happened to pick out of the box had any rubber covering on it your chances of winning were dramatically enhanced. The balls too varied from “slightly shagged out” to “misshapen work of the devil”, although in this regard at least the disadvantage was a shared one.

Table Tennis was perhaps one of the very few ‘sports’ I enjoyed participating in during gym. Probably because it involved FAR less physical effort than football, rugby, hockey or basketball AND I was unlikely to be roughed up by the opposing team. (No guarantee of that, of course, but I’m hard pushed to remember anyone leaning across the ping-pong table to punch me in the arm?!)

Table Tennis appears to have been this particular day’s highlight. An eye test and a dental appointment all in one day is now my idea of utter hell. I have no doubt it was back then too as I have never been a fan of visiting either.

I am intrigued by the inclusion of “GF3” tucked away in small letters in the corner of the diary entry. I have no idea to what it refers, and further inspection of the diary prior to this date shows no “GF1” or “GF2” so as to hint at some kind of time/event lineage.

I’ll leave you to imagine as much as I have been. Was it my own special code for something rude? The third date? (I have made no diary references to dates with Angela, or anyone else) The third girlfriend? Perhaps it simply refers to my drubbing at the ping pong table, suggesting I “Got F…… erm … Frustrated three times over?

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